Singaporeans love mobile data, and telcos have been falling over themselves trying to outbid each other.
We take a quick, dirty look and compare the SIM-only plans and phone plans of each telco in Singapore:
Data users who need at least 5GB a month
If you spend most of the time at home or in the office, or in public places with free Wi-Fi, then you probably won’t need more than 5GB of data a month. Here are your SIM-only and Phone Plan options:
At least 5GB: SIM-only plans with 12-mth or no contracts
|Data||Extras||Price per month|
|Singtel||5GB||150 min talk time, 500 local SMS/MMS||$20|
|M1||5GB||100 min talk time, 100 local SMS/MMS||$20|
|Starhub||3GB + unlimited weekend data||100 min talk time||$25 + $6|
|Circles.Life||6GB||100 min talk time||$28|
|MyRepublic||9GB||1000 min talk time, 1000 SMSes||$35|
In terms of price alone, Singtel is the winner for this category, as it meets the data requirement and also offers more talk time and SMSes than the closest competitor M1. Do take note though, that Singtel and M1’s SIM Only plans require you to commit to a 12-month contract.
If you rather not be bound by a contract, the next better option is Circles.Life’s base plan, which offers 6GB of data at $28.
At least 5GB: 2-year phone plans vs no-contract plans like Circles Life
Swipe left to see total costs
|2-year phone plan||Data||Extras||Price per month||Cost of iPhone Xs 64GB||Total cost|
|Singtel Combo 6||6GB||Unlimited talk time, unlimited SMS/MMS||$95.90||$488||$1,638.80|
|M1 mySIM(e) 40||5GB +10GB||100 min talk time, 100 local SMS/MMS||$40||$735||$1,695|
|Starhub $50 plan||13GB||200 min talk time||$50||$842||$2,042|
|Circles.Life base plan||6GB||100 min talk time||$28||$1,548||$2,220|
For comparison purposes, we use the undiscounted iPhone Xs (64GB) at the current price of $1,548 for the total cost of being on a no-contract Circles.Life plan.
When you consider the total cost of phone bills and the handset, Singtel’s total cost is the lowest as they offer steep discounts on their handset. Coming a close second is the M1 mySIM(e) 40 plan.
While the discount on the phone handset is not as high as Singtel’s, the monthly outlay is only $40. Also, for a limited period, M1 is offering an additional 10GB, which makes it a very attractive option.
However, if you foresee yourself needing a lot of talk time, the Singtel Combo 6 is actually a better option as it has unlimited talk time and SMSes.
That said, if you’re someone who likes to switch handsets sooner than every 2 years and hate to be bound by a contract, you can consider Circles.Life.
Data fans who need at least 10GB a month
Either you’re constantly on the go, or you’re the kind to put every second of your life on Instagram Stories. Either way, you need at least 10GB of data a month. Here are your SIM-only and Phone Plan options:
10GB or more: SIM-only Plans with 12-mth or no contracts
|Data||Extras||Price per month|
|Singtel SIM Only 10 GB||10GB||150 min talk time, 500 local SMS/MMS||$36.05|
|M1 mySIM(e) 40||5GB +10GB||100 min talk time, 100 local SMS/MMS||$40|
|Starhub $50 SIM Only||30GB||300 min talk time||$50|
|Circles.Life Base + 20GB||26GB||100 min talk time||$48|
|MyRepublic Mega 55||18GB||1000 min talk time, 1000 SMSes||$55|
If you only need 10 GB, Singtel offers the cheapest plan. However, topping up $4 gives you 5 more GB on the M1 plan, which is very value-for-money.
But, if you’re the indulgent sort and likes to watch Youtube videos on the go, FaceTime your every moment, then you might want to go for the Stahub $50 SIM Only plan or the Circles Life 26GB (Base plan + $20 add-on). If you compare Circles, Life with the cheapest Singtel SIM Only plan, the price difference is only $12, for an additional 16 GB!
But if 10 GB is really more than enough for you, then there’s no point paying $4 or $12 more for more data, just because it’s cheap, isn’t it?
Also, something to mention is that if you are a MyRepublic broadband user, you get additional free data. This means that you can get the $35 Smart 35 plan, which has 9GB of data, and get 3GB of data free, adding up to 12GB. This essentially knocks all the other telcos out of the park as it is the cheapest for more than 10GB of data, plus it bundles 1000 minutes of talk time and 1000 SMSes.
10GB or more: 2-year phone plans vs no-contract plans like Circles.Life
Swipe left to see total costs
|Data||Extras||Price per month||Cost of iPhone Xs 64GB||Total cost|
|Singtel Combo 12||12GB||Unlimited talk time, unlimited local SMS/MMS||$239.90||$0||$5,757.60|
|M1 mySIM(e) 40||5GB + 10GB||100 min talk time, 100 local SMS/MMS||$40.00||$735||$1,695|
|Starhub $75 plan||30GB||300 min talk time||$50.00||$842||$2,042|
|Circles.Life||26GB||100 min talk time||$48.00||$1,548||$2,700|
For comparison purposes, we once again use the undiscounted price of $1,548 of iPhone Xs (64GB) for the total cost of being on a no-contract Circles.Life plan.
M1’s mySIM(e) 40 plan comes up tops. By catering to those who only need data, and not talk time or SMS/MMS, they easily beat the competition in terms of price.
Singtel’s $239.90 per month price tag seems totally ridiculous, but for that price, you get a phone handset totally free-of-charge. So you can think of paying the exorbitant phone bill as akin to paying installments for your phone.
That said, Circles.Life’s 20GB data for $20 is a very hard to beat proposition, though it might be more data than you’ll ever need (which is probably what they’re counting on).
Which telco will win the data game in 2019?
It’s clear that Singtel and M1 are offering better deals for SIM-only plans if you don’t need more than 5GB of data a month.
M1, Starhub and Circles.Life are playing the data game so well, they’ve won on every other category. M1 gives ridiculous discounts on their phones while Circles.Life’s lack of a contract ensures that it maintains a strong advantage over the competition. MyRepublic offers a great option for people who need a lot of talktime.
With data increasingly becoming a daily necessity, plans bundling big data are likely to become the norm. Even the big telcos are changing their tactics and plans to keep up. There are also other newcomers like Zero1 and Zero Mobile, which offers unlimited data.
Are you a big data fan? Which telco do you prefer? Share your thoughts with us.
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